Every year there are a number of major awards for literary merit. The Booker, Orange and Nobel prizes are just some of the better known. There are the Guardian First Book Awards (announced last week), the Costa Book Awards and the Specsavers National Book Awards, as well as many specific prizes for particular genres of literature.
And then there are the alternative awards, to denote works of (ahem) lesser merit. One of these is the Bad Sex in Fiction Award awarded by the Literary Review for ‘the most egregious passage of sexual description in a novel’. The winner is due to be announced later today.
Nominees this year include:
- The Quiddity of Will Self, by Sam Mills
- Back to blood, by Tom Wolfe
- The Adventuress, by Nicholas Coleridge
- Noughties, by Ben Masters
- Infrared, by Nancy Huston
However J K Rowling (The Casual Vacancy) and E L James (Fifty Shades of Grey) both failed to make the shortlist!
Past winners include Tom Wolfe in 2004 (will he do it again this year?), Norman Mailer in 2007, Rachel Johnson in 2008 and David Guterson in 2011.
All the above suggests the possibility, purely with tongue in cheek of course, for some other alternative awards for books, which may or may not be of recent publication. May we propose:
Atlas of remote islands: fifty islands I have not visited and never will
by Judith Schalansky
This is my life
by Mary Byrne
My dad was nearly James Bond
by Des Bishop
This is not a novel
by Jennifer Johnston
Don’t read this book!
by Jill Lewis
Me and my sisters
by Sinead Moriarty
And finally, a festive one:
The dinosaur that pooped Christmas
by Dougie Poynter
(“What happens when a naughty baby dinosaur eats Danny’s whole Christmas! Well, he’ll just have to poop it all back out, that’s what!”)
Think you can do better? We’re sure you can! Nominations and new award suggestions welcome…